I’ve been doing a series about what academic research on race and racism on the Internet. The series continues today with a look at what researchers are finding about one the most talked about aspects of the popular Internet: Social Networking Sites.
Social networking sites (SNS), such as Facebook and MySpace, are phenomenally popular and important to the field of Internet studies, (Boyd and Ellison, “Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship,” JCMC, 2007, Vol.13(1):210-230). According to a recent report, the top SNS is currently Facebook, with over 65 million unique visitors per month. Facebook has displaced the former leader in the field, MySpace, which still currently gets about 58 million unique visitors per month. These are staggeringly high numbers of people participating in these sites. But what does this phenomenon have to do with race and racism? (more…)